The community enhancement project at the section of the river Inny which flows between two bridges in Ballyjamesduff, is nearing completion and the transformation is pretty spectacular.
A dedicated team of people has worked hard to ensure that the project is being completed to a high standard. A footbridge has been put in place and a paved walk area. A stone wall has been constructed to keep the upper river bank in place and it has been back filled with clay.
A timber fence has also been constructed as part of the project and affords a nice backdrop, with potential for enhancement in the future. A picnic bench has also been placed on the decking. To enhance the biodiversity of the area, seven trees were planted towards the end of last week, including weeping willow and weeping birch and alder.
The team who have seen the project through to this stage include Kevin Fox, assistant chairperson of the Tidy Towns, Gerry Smith, Brendan Fox, Brian Slowey, Paddy McInerney, Tommy Tracey, Harry Brant, Sean McInerney, Eileen Lynch, treasurer, Rosemary Galligan and Susan Willis, chairperson of the Tidy Towns. FAS workers also helped to clean the river.
Susan Willis says that the team were fortunate to avail of Tommy O’Neill’s expertise; he volunteered to help and put his machinery at the committee’s disposal. They were also fortunate to have access to Aidan O’Reilly’s yard to store materials during the works and also Sean McBride’s yard on the other side of the river.
“We had so much stuff there at one point, including backfill, stones, that we required those yards,” she told the Celt.
The final touches will be put to the transformation of this Inny River stretch this week, courtesy of the team putting creepers in place and completing the various painting jobs.
Susan Willis says the lower bank of the river will have to be left for a while to let nature take its course. It is not feasible to plant anything on that area, as the rising level of the river would take it away. Time will allow the natural grasses to return to knit the bank in place.
Consideration is being given to putting a weir in place in the future and more stones to be placed on either side of the river, to enhance the flow and create more oxygen in the water.
“We have completed what we are going to do aesthetically – the other works are designed to nurture the river itself – that will be an ongoing project. We will continue to liaise with the Fisheries people on this project”, said Susan.